RFID for Beginners
RFID technology is used frequently today and has been around since the 1920s,
but not many people know about, or understand it. RFID stands for Radio
Frequency Identification and is used to store and retrieve information. This
information is stored and retrieved using RFID tags or transponders. RFID tags
are small and can be incorporated into many products. The tags have antennas
that allow them to receive and respond to radio-frequency queries from an RFID
Two Types of RFID Tags
There are two types of RFID tags; active tags, and passive tags. Passive tags do
not have their own power supply, but rather receive their power from a tiny
electrical current present in the antenna that is induced by an incoming radio
frequency scan. Because of the small power present in the system, passive RFID
tags are used only in short distances (such as an ID card).
Active RFID tags have a power source and therefore are much stronger and can be
used over larger distances and are therefore more highly effective. Active RFID
tags also have the potential to store more information than their passive
counterparts. Some active RFID tags have a battery life of up to ten years.
The System of RFID
RFID works off of a system that relies on tags, tag readers, tag programming
stations, sorting equipment, circulation readers, and tag inventory wands. RFID
is generally used in security, because security gates are programmed to read the
RFID tags and then either open or close accordingly. The system helps the
information be easily transmitted via an RFID device. Systems have evolved over
the years along with RFID chips. The hope is that RFID will one day be available
to everyone (meaning consumers) because it will be more efficient and cost
effective to implement RFID processes.
Where is RFID Used?
RFID can be found almost everywhere. RFID can be found in bookstores and CD
stores. The little alarm that sounds if a CD has not been scanned is made
possible by an RFID chip. RFID chips are found on animal tags, on books in
libraries, in car alarms and car lock systems. RFID can also be used to detect
motion. This could be very useful in the coming years in terms of prisons. In
2004 the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRH) approved a
$415,000 contract to test RFID technology in prisons. The idea is that the
prisoners will ware wristbands that will watch their movement. If there is any
movement, which is out of the ordinary, security will be alerted. This
technology will be employed in many states in the coming years.
Author: Amie Kandowski